Exhale. Bayern is through to the Champions League Final. Unlike some others, I did not feel like gloating after the first leg. Please don’t get me wrong: I was happy about our win as much as the next person, but I also knew there would be the second leg. The ball is round, anything can happen. Besides, the winners should behave with at least some degree of grace.
I was so happy yesterday that I had a hard time falling asleep. I am not going to talk about the matches because everything was as clear as day: Bayern was organized, disciplined and brilliant. I am ecstatic for them and am especially happy for Philipp. One could see he was extremely proud of his team. All of you, no doubt, have seen the pictures by now. However, it does annoy me/make me laugh when people, for example commentators, suddenly realize what a great player Lahm is. Where have they been all these years?
While reminiscing about the past four years, I think it is important to keep the following things in mind: in 2009, Lahm, in support of the new things Louis van Gaal was doing, did say the club needed its own philosophy; he – for lack of a better word – provoked the board. So, Bayern did get the philosophy. Lahm did say the club had to buy players, paying attention to how they would fit in, and whether there’s a place on the team for that particular player. So, Bayern started buying accordingly. In 2011, Lahm did say it was necessary to balance the attack and the defense and was really pushing the issue, advocating for the importance of everyone going back to defend. So, Bayern worked on exactly that. (With Heynckes’ help, of course, a talented coach and a person who seems to be on the same page with Philipp, as well as Bastian, I’m sure.) Lahm did say it would take some time, and it did: let’s be honest, in order for a building to be able to withstand certain things, one has to lay a good foundation, and that does take time. As a result, look at what we have now. Looking good, doesn’t it? All that in addition to his individual performance and his larger-than-life belief in his team. Do I have to say more?
I hope it is now evident to some that leadership is only one part of the equation. There are many aspects that have to come together in order for a team to accomplish
great good things. After all, when creating a product, using various chemicals, one doesn’t concentrate solely on potassium, does he? The fans, experts and commentators keep enjoying this Bayern and praising it like they have never seen it being better than it is now, but I would like to remind that it is Lahm’s Bayern. No, no, I am not taking away the credit from everyone else who has been working so hard. Not in the slightest. But it is not Kahn’s and Effenberg’s Bayern. It is Bayern with the so-called flat hierarchy, it is Bayern that corresponds, at least to some extent, to Lahm’s vision of it. Something that has to be pointed out, since there has been so much criticism.
I found the camera focusing unusually often on Lahm during yesterday’s match. His celebration in the middle of the second half spoke louder than words.
Congratulations to everyone! Let’s keep on rocking!